Consequences of DWI on Employment
The consequences for a DWI conviction does not end in a court of law, but can affect your employment opportunities. Whether you currently have a job or looking for work, having a criminal record can prove detrimental in more facets than one.
The following are the common effects of DWI on employment:
- Missed new job opportunities – Most states, including North Carolina, allow employers to refuse employment to anyone with a DUI conviction. Having a DWI on your record will be perceived as evidence of being a safety risk to driving or operating equipment. For instance, if you injure someone at the workplace, the company could be sued for knowingly hiring someone who was a liability risk to others, hence increasing the amount of damages they must pay to the injured worker.
- Termination policy – Many employers have a policy in their employee handbooks, stating that conviction of a criminal offense is grounds for firing. If your employer has such a policy, you may lose your job. Furthermore, many employee handbooks require an employee to report a criminal charge.
- Loss of professional license – If you hold some type of professional license (i.e. commercial driving license, law license, nursing license, plumbing license, etc.), the agency which maintains your license may require you to report any criminal arrests of convictions, such as DWIs. If you lose your license, you lose your job.
- Tardiness and absences – There are many ways a DWI conviction can indirectly affect your job. For example, if your license is suspended and you didn’t obtain an exemption for driving to/from work, then you’re relying on other means of transportation (i.e. bus, train, taxi, bus, Uber, Lyft). Not having the ability to drive can result in being constantly late to work, resulting in termination. Additionally, court appearances and even jail time can force you to miss work.
The impact a DWI conviction can have on your job and employment opportunities can be life-altering, so it is imperative to seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney for help.